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33 *

Association, that was what he was now, if he was anything.
He thought: if I am anything. But Doctor MacDonald—let
the Association go to pot, let everything, and Doctor Mac-
Donald would still he himself. You could guess that.

Doctor MacDonald did not change. At the meetings with
the captains and commanders, or meetings held for a few
bands of the men, meetings held in empty barns or in farm-
houses with the windows shuttered and a single lamp turned
down low and the men half-listening for a warning from the
watchmen down the road and in the woods, Doctor Mac-
Donald could still lean toward them, casually, as he "had at
first, and talk easily and confidentially. The way he must
talk to a woman whose husband was sick, or whose child, Mr.
Munn once thought. And the men would gradually relax,
and listen to him, and when they spoke their own voices
would sound natural again and their postures would lose
that impression of a crouching, anticipatory strain. Even
after the night when the troops tried to raid a meeting, and
would have succeeded except for the watchmen, Doctor
MacDonald did not change. Some of the people, Mr. Sills
and Mr. Burden, urged him not to have another meeting
after that, not until things quieted down. "No," Doctor
MacDonald said, "now's the time/5 in the voice of a man
saying it's time for dinner, or time to lock up for the night.
At the next meeting, he knocked out his pipe, and observed:
" Well, gentlemen, they almost bagged us. And I reckon we
all know why." Half-amusedly, he looked about him, from
face to face. Then he added, as though in afterthought:
" Somebody let it slip. Somebody just let it slip. All we've
got to do "—and he hesitated, and the men looked at each
other, almost furtively—" is to find out who it was. Because,"
he said gently, "he might just let it slip again." And he
grinned, and stuck his hands into his pockets.

Only once did Mr. Munn see a change in him. It was on
a gusty Sunday morning. A man who lived down the pike
from the Ball place rode up to the gate, dismounted, and
approached the house. Doctor MacDonald, watching him